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NOW TV service faces surge in demand for Game of Thrones season premiere

Monday, April 13th 2015 by Dean Reilly

A year after technical issues caused NOW TV viewers to miss the live premiere of Game of Thrones season four, the streaming service could face even higher demand ahead of the season five debut tonight.

Last April, the Sky-owned streaming service apologised to customers after problems prevented some viewers from watching the live season four premiere of Game of Thrones.

However this year Sky made the decision to not 'simulcast’ the first episode at the same time it aired in the US.

Following the season four problems, NOW TV acknowledged on its forum it had received "a number of reports" regarding the service not working properly on 7 April 2014 – the same night that the US fantasy drama's new series began.

Some viewers experienced slow loading times or error messages preventing them from watching content.

NOW TV community manager Tom-R wrote on the forum at the time: "We understand that most customers are now able to use NOW TV as normal, but we're continuing to investigate and will provide a further update when we can."

Although the issues were resolved within an hour, the community manager added it was, “not an acceptable level of service for our customers”, saying that anyone affected by the problems would be contacted with a gesture of goodwill.

NOW TV went on to offer customers a free Entertainment Pass for a month, meaning viewers could watch the subsequent four episodes of Game of Thrones for free.

Sky had also previously refunded customers who tuned in to watch the Manchester United and Manchester City derby on NOW TV, after the service cut out midway through the first half of the game for some viewers.

Live simulcast

The first episode of season five of Game of Thrones launches in the UK at 9pm tonight.

From episode two onwards, a live simulcast will allow UK viewers to watch the programme at 2am on Monday morning – at the same time as viewers in the US.

The first four seasons of the cult TV show will remain on catch-up until the end of April, with episodes from season five available for 30 days on catch-up.

New and existing NOW TV customers took to social media ahead of the premiere to discuss the show.

A NOW TV spokesperson told Cable.co.uk: “Over the last year we’ve invested heavily to provide greater reliability than ever. We have dedicated teams on hand to resolve issues quickly and are seeing record levels of viewing and customer satisfaction, as NOW TV grows in popularity.”

Sky Atlantic programming is a part of the NOW TV £6.99 Entertainment Month Pass. The streaming service can be viewed on a range of devices including Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast and the NOW TV set top box.

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